Saturday, December 01, 2007

Looking into Paige Powell's background, I found this article about her after Warhol passed away:

A Paige in History

When all went quiet at Andy Warhol’s Factory, Portland’s bicoastal culture doyenne rededicated herself to art and animals

By Gail Dana

The Portland Tribune, Jul 11, 2003
Boys and Girls Aid Society

In 1983, Andy Warhol held a Valentine’s Day party at the Factory, his New York City office. The Factory was the hot place to be in the New York art world. Openly gay, Warhol loved stunning women. At this party, he was dazzled by a waif in a pink tulle dress with heart-shaped bodice.

The article's introduction makes me wonder how Andy is actually perceived by pop culture today. The above link explains that Andy was openly gay; yet, I heard actor Dennis Hopper on the radio talk about Andy during the time period when his pop-art started to be shown in Los Angeles at Walter Hopps's gallery. The interview was to Promote Andy's retrospective at MOCA in 2002. And when Andy's sexuality came up, I remember Hopper claiming to see Andy as asexual, as an "observer"; obviously playing up the myth of Andy trying to become a machine, which anyone who has read Andy's diary, or the excerpts reblogged in this project will know is total B.S.

Then, the article on Paige suggests that there was a dynamic with romantic implications between Andy and her:

Paige Powell became Warhol’s valentine, business partner and compatriot, he even dreamed of marrying her. “For years, Andy made a project of looking for a wedding ring for Paige,” says Warhol pal Stuart Pivar.

They never married, but Powell became the New York art community’s it girl. Warhol died in 1987, and seven years later Powell returned to Portland, where she eventually founded the Pearl Arts Foundation with developer Homer Williams, becoming its executive director. Formed in 1999, the foundation called it quits this year on Feb. 14.

The above statement reminds me a bit of Will and Grace. A show that had the potential of being interesting, but always fell short. Here's some criticism on that show:

While the pilot lays the usual groundwork by showing how the characters' lives are intertwined, it also demonstrates immediately the sitcom's major drawback, that the stereotypical gay character is the stand-out comic figure. Compared to the dull homogeneity of Will's card-playing, white, middle-class, gay friends, the flamboyant Jack is the oddball, the only homosexual at this poker party with the potential to threaten straight masculinity. Even Will and his other friends poke fun at Jack's campiness, thus drawing a distinction between their "straighter"-seeming gayness and Jack's overt "queeniness." While their reactions to Jack might be read as friendly intra-gay joking (and many viewers do read it like this), they also encourage the viewer to consider the distinction between being gay and being campy, as each might comment on or even challenge heterosexual masculinity. The "guys"' reactions might also be interpreted as affirmation of their own, more clearly assimilated gayness over that of "people like Jack."

So, I wonder if Hopper's comment is an attempt to assimilate Andy's gayness dependent on the stereotypes that are also found in Will And Grace. If anything, Hopper played down what Andy would do in his bedroom.


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